RAF LAKENEATH, England – Lakenheath knew before its girls soccer game started Saturday that it was going to win. It wasn’t bravado: The Lancers had players on both sides.

The opponent, Menwith Hill, didn’t have enough players to meet the 11-person minimum requirement for a game. At full strength, the Mustangs only have 12 players - the entire school only has 62 students - but three were unable to play. So the game was technically a 1-0 forfeit.

Rather than waste an opportunity to play soccer, Lakenheath – about eight times the size of Menwith Hill as far as enrollment - decided to lend the Mustangs five players.

For Menwith Hill, it was a rare chance to play outside. Situated near York in the northern part of England, bad weather has made it difficult to practice.

Coach Cally Ignacio appreciated Lakenheath letting them get into the field for the first game they have played this year.

“It’s nice that Lakenheath loaned people to us,” Ignacio said.

While the score ended at 9-0, one of the coaches for Lakenheath thought the score did not accurately reflect what Menwith Hill brought to the game.

“I don’t think the score gave enough justice to Menwith Hill for how hard they worked,” Jordan Kermoade said.

The boys, however, had enough players for a full game and took to the field for a back and forth game that ended in a 1-0 victory for Lakenheath.

Much of the first half did not bode well for Lakenheath. The Mustangs managed to keep the ball near the Lakenheath goal for most of the half, but could never capitalize. It was not until the last couple of minutes of the half that Lakenheath junior Christopher Davis, assisted by Dovien Gallego, scored the only goal of the game.

Menwith Hill coach Ken Brooks attributed that costly goal to fatigue. He saw his team lagging.

Like the girls team, bad weather has plagued the Mustangs’ training. Brooks said they have had to practice indoors.

Brooks said he was happy to open the season, and the game gave him some ideas on how to improve.

“I just think we want to hammer away at our philosophy of keeping the ball,” Brooks said.

Menwith Hill doesn’t play again until April 20 when it hosts Brussels. Lakenheath, which improved to 2-2 with the victory, also takes the spring break off and hosts AFNORTH the same day.

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